Imagine that you are on vacation outside your country and you become sick. If that were to be the case, Smart4health, the largest digital health research project ever, will allow you to share your health data with hospitals or health professionals immediately and across Europe.
In case of an accident, for example, fast access to data is critical to save lives. In this data we can see, for instance, allergies that the patient may have, diseases he might have and even the blood type, if a quick blood transfusion is necessary.
Smart4health is coordinated in Portugal and led by Ricardo Jardim Gonçalves, researcher at UNINOVA and full professor at FCT NOVA. The project proposes to collect, aggregate and make available health data that will be accessible anywhere in the world. If a tourist gets sick, he can use that information to his benefit, wherever he is.
The approach goes beyond the integration of medical data and also includes an app, Citizen Hub. This app, linked to the Smart4Health platform, collects data from tourists through smart devices that complement the information provided.
The project was born under the Horizon 2020 Program and has 18 international partners, including two Portuguese partners, the Regional Government of Madeira through the Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture of Madeira and the company Knowledgebiz Consulting.
The main objective is to put the citizen at the center of the health care decision. Deliver an enhanced and personalized solution, and be the European answer to the strategy of digital transformation. This will give support for social innovation, digital health, areas of research and development of services in the European electronic health registration service, in which UNINOVA stands out as a Digital Innovation Hub (IHL).
Currently, the objective is to address case studies associated with travelers. For instance, if you are going to travel to Madeira Island, you can take full advantage of the solution. The strong international presence in the region made the President of the Regional Government, Miguel Albuquerque, wanted to join the project.
The case studies focus on citizens who travel and spend leisure time in Madeira. Madeirans and tourists from the region, will have access to the technology and services that the project makes available. For example, wearable devices that alert incorrect body postures, telling the user that he is not sitting well. This device also monitors walks and training in general, as well as training associated with prevention and treatment of back pain. Everything connected to the app that collects all the information and systematizes it to help identify what can happen to its user.
During the course of the project, health records are shared between health centers in Madeira, the University Hospital of Aachen, in Germany, the University Hospital of Maastricht, in the Netherlands, and the Ospedale San Raffaele, in Italy.
An important fact is that standards and methods have been created so that the data system is fully integrated and interoperable, which means that everything will be understood, in the same way, anywhere in the world, reducing any type of ambiguity in the interpretation of the data.
The Smart4Health platform is based on millions of anonymous health records from patients at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. European citizens start to benefit from the data already processed in the USA, which, complemented by Europeans, will contribute to advances in the scientific field.
Healthcare professionals can also benefit from Smart4health technology. An example of this are doctors who work in intensive care and who often need to mobilize patients in the hospital bed for medical or cleaning procedures. Ricardo Jardim Gonçalves explains that “if they use the app, they can have two advantages. The first is that being warned if they are making a greater physical effort than they should, and the second is a robot arm that, being part of the project, was designed to help manipulate and move patients who need this type of intervention.”
It is still being studied the use of sensed medical scrubs for these professionals, who warn of the danger of getting hurt. In addition, the project leader talks a little about the various applications that the technology used in Smart4health can have, and says with satisfaction: “wanting to be a little visionary, people will start using their devices (mobile phones and smartwatches), selecting and providing personal taste data and sharing it, for example, with the hotels where you booked your stay. ”
And he explains by way of example: “So I arrive and listen to my favorite music in the room, I already have the room temperature as desired, the TV on the channel I want and a margarita waiting for me,” he concludes, smiling.
Finally, notice that if you use the Smart4Health platform and authorize the sharing of your data for research, you will be informed about new discoveries that can lead you to make more informed options regarding your clinical decisions. The data set of each citizen and the results of the research, can enhance the well-being of the community and the prevention of diseases, and all this anonymously.
In addition, this project also tries to find solutions to fight COVID-19, promoting a sense of security for those who travel. The main purpose is greater protection, speed and efficiency whenever you need a doctor. Travel more and more, but always in safety!